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I Had Cancer, Lost My Job and Filed Bankruptcy. I’m Sinking Again. – Deborah

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

Around 2000 I tried a debt consolidation company years ago and they took my money. So I had to file bankruptcy. Well I got Cancer. Then I lost my job in 2009 and did not find another for over 2 years.

I have had to use a lot of credit cards for medical and to live on. I still have no health insurance.

Now I have a job but my bills “without food and gas” are more than my income. I have not defaulted yet but I am going to have to stop paying because I have no food or gas so am back to using my credit cards to live on again because my minimums are out of control.

This is a vicious circle that is getting worse everyday. My outcome is around 2100.00 and my income is 1600.00. I am -500.00 a month.

What are my options? I tried a debt consolidation company years ago and they took my money.


Dear Deborah,

I hate to state the obvious here but you do realize you can’t live a $2,100 a month life on a $1,600 a month income, right?

The math looks painfully obvious.

adding upIf you continue to live on the credit cards to finance a life you can’t afford you are going to wind up in bankruptcy again, but this time you’ll have to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy because it has been less than eight years since your last bankruptcy.

I would suggest you go to and apply for all benefits you are qualified for. Every dollar in benefits is a dollar you don’t have to make.

I’m glad to hear you survived the round with cancer and you are back employed again. That’s some good news.

But this situation is not going to be solved with a debt consolidation company.

You can stop paying the cards and let them come after you and maybe eventually sue you but it appears you have to assets to go after. If you live in a state where they can garnish wages then you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy. You obviously can’t afford the minimum payments so legal intervention may be necessary again.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free about your specific situation. Get the facts and then you can make an informed and educated decision if bankruptcy is right for you.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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